Book Reviews of The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia
The Black Dahlia
Author: James Ellroy
ISBN-13: 9780739473603
ISBN-10: 0739473603
Pages: 325
Rating:
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 22

2.9 stars, based on 22 ratings
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

48 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Black Dahlia on
Helpful Score: 5
Another Black Dahlia book I recommend this one over a lot of the other ones because of the author. Well written keeps you interested.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Very graphic sexually and murder/gore wise. Recommended for adult readers only!
Great story line though (based on a true story) and very compelling.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
Helpful Score: 5
a thriller, definitely. Not for the faint of heart in that it is very graphic.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Reads like a film noir - interesting tale of murder, corruption, and love.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Complicated tale of murder, written by a popular crime writer. Enjoyed the characters and story - better than the movie.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a gritty story about a real world event in LA after WWII. The action is fast with the detectives investigating this gruesome murder behaving badly at times and with "stiff upper lip" at other times. Afterall, dealing with the types of individuals involved in the criminal underworld can not leave one unscarred. The author, James Ellroy, is the real deal. He himself has a checkered past and tragedy enough for any person. His mom was murdered when he was a youngster. And they never caught that murderer either (no one was arrested in this Black Dahlia case). The language is hot and the images are brutal, but this is the real world of police investigations.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 179 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Excellent detective novel based on the famous case. Pretty much the last word in Black Dahlia books, this is a fictional investigative account of the famous unsolved case which continues to baffle detectives all these years hence. Very gritty, very real. You'll forget it's a fictionalized account.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
From Publishers Weekly
Based on a notorious, unsolved Los Angeles murder case, the central drama of this hard-boiled mystery--set in the late 1940s--begins when the body of Elizabeth Short, an engagingly beautiful and promiscuous woman in her 20s, is discovered in a vacant lot, cut in half, disemboweled and bearing evidence that she had been tortured for several days before dying. Dubbed "The Black Dahlia" by the press, the victim becomes an obsession for two L.A.P.D. cops, narrator Bucky Bleichert and his partner, Lee Blanchard, both ex-boxers who also are best friends and in love with the same woman. Despite a huge effort by the department, leads seem to go nowhere, and Bucky is mortified when he inadvertently helps to suppress evidence--the apparently innocuous fact that a woman he spends many nights with, casually bisexual Madeleine Sprague, daughter of a crooked real-estate tycoon, knew "the Dahlia" and slept with her once. Bucky begins to fear for his future, but slowly and dangerously, he learns that his is one of the tamest crimes of corruption committed by the many people he knows. Building like a symphony, this is a wonderful, complicated but accessible tale of ambition, insanity, passion and deceit, with the perfect settingof booming, postwar Los Angeles.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was a little drawn out for my liking but once I got into the book I had to know who did it. Many twists in this book that makes you think they figured it out but then someone else comes into play.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Knowing the true story, I wasn't really impressed with the fictionalized account. Good read, however, if you don't care too much about the facts of the case.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very dark and a bit hard to get started, but hauntingly intriguing once you do.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book, but not for the faint of heart or stomach.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 178 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A slow start but picks up-an okay read.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book to be a rather strange read. Kind of unsettling actually. When the author at the end tells you more about his mom, then you realize where he was coming from earlier in the book.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A masterpiece.....Literary eqivalent of film noir. Gritty 1940's
detective story in Los Angeles. A page turner and a half.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It was okay, very crudely written. I think I just got through it because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Powerful and angry. Read this book. Forget about the movie.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great story~ as always better than the movie
If you love Film Noir this book has it all
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 379 more book reviews
I read this a long time ago, and I still remember how I liked it.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
A great mystery novel, a good read.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 10 more book reviews
I could not get into this book at all.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
I found this book to be intriguing, heart-wrenching and incredibly shocking. I would've never guessed the ending...
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
very interesting story
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 55 more book reviews
Mystery with true insurps and pictures of Dahlia history. Good read.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
I started the book just before seeing the movie, and I ended up enjoying the book more. The book offers more character development and detail in scenes that were sort of glossed over in the film, scenes that in the end played an important role in the plot of the book. Ellroy paints a great picture of SoCal in the '40s - I look forward to reading his other books.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 60 more book reviews
On January 15, 1947, the tortured-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in Los Angeles vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia - and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history.

Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard, Warrants Squad cops, friends, and rivals in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dahlia - driven by dark needs to know everything about her past, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of postwar Hollywood, to the core of the dead's girls twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches - into a region of total madness.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 60 more book reviews
Great cop lingo -- fast paced, full of action. A great read!
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 37 more book reviews
Try as I might, I just couldn't get into this one. From the beginning, it uses a lot of what I can only assume is police terminology from that time period. So right away, I don't connect with the characters. The story just seemed to drag on and on. I made it about 2/3 of the way through but finally decided to just give up on this one.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 127 more book reviews
Written like a true story (which it is supposedly based on), people say it is "noir" but I didn't find it all that dark- much less "black" (yes I know what film noir is... this isn't it). This is a detective/murder mystery. Overall, an ok fast read, written in 1940's vernacular- makes you want to know how much of it is true
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 138 more book reviews
VISERAL

If I had to come up with one word to describe this fictional re-telling of the famous 1947 Black Dahlia murder, viseral would be it. This is far from an intellectual mystery/thriller. Rather, it hits you in the guts emotionally - time and time again.

I expected a story that just basically fleshed out the real murder and its investigation. I was sooooo wrong. I mostly listened to this book on audio, and almost gave up after the first two CD's because it was full - and I mean FULL - of boxing slang, 40's cop slang, and ethnic and sexual slurs - and we hadn't even gotten the to murder yet!

If I had paid attention to the tag line under the title of the book (by the author of LA Confidential), that would have been my clue to the dark and corrupt nature of this novel. I haven't read LA Confidential, but I've seen the movie. 'Nuff said. (And yes, I had totally forgotten that The Black Dahlia was also made into a movie a few years ago and have never seen it.)

But just as the fictional detectives were drawn into the investigation, I was drawn into it also. Almost compelled to keep reading and listening. And the plot was so intricate that I HAD to pay attention. The final solution to the mystery came as a complete shock - although it made total sense in retrospect.

So in sum, even though this book was totally out of the box for me, I recommend it. It's an excellent mystery/thriller.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 8 more book reviews
Difficult to get started with but once it grabs you, it's hard to put down. Good read.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 149 more book reviews
Gripping story from beginning to end - it reads the way people talked in old police movies from the 40's & 50's but it's very compelling.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
This book is a wild ride- it takes you all over the place in the lives of the three main characters and the great thing is, you want to go.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 13 more book reviews
complicated but a good read
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 9 more book reviews
Outstanding. Hard to leave. Movie follows closely.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 5 more book reviews
Just could not get into this book!!!!!!!!!
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 146 more book reviews
This book was good, however it was very gory. A couple of times I had to put it down because the violence was too much. I am glad I read to the end.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 145 more book reviews
slow reading . I found it dull and rather boring.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 67 more book reviews
The Black Dahlia was a very good read but parts were gory and horrific. The first part was hard to get into without having knowledge of boxing terms. Also, later in the book a lot of police lingo and codes were thrown around, with meanings that needed to be explained. It was a great book overall and inspiration to pursue the truth.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 109 more book reviews
the book is much better than the movie
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a Los Angeles vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dehlia-and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history.

Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bieichert & Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, & rivals in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dehlia-driven by dark needs to know everything about her past, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of postwar Hollywood, to the core of the dead girl's twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches-into a region of total madness.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 8 more book reviews
Good book!
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 9 more book reviews
I thought it was a little slow...
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 12 more book reviews
I like this book I was very please they knew the black Dahlia killer.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 86 more book reviews
This book is a mystery about a young girl that was killed in 1947. The victim makes the headlines as the black dahlia. It starts the biggest man hunt in California's history.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 49 more book reviews
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Narrator Hoye firmly nails young world-weary cop Bucky Bleichert in this audio version of Ellroy's 1987 crime novel. The flawed boxer-turned-lawman becomes obsessed with L.A.'s notorious unsolved 1947 torture-murder case, as well as the secret life of his missing partner, Lee Blanchard. Hoye proves a fine match for Ellroy's hardboiled prose, shuttling easily between hard and soft tones, crystallizing Bleichert's mix of cynicism, confusion, hurt and rage. Set in booming postwar Los Angeles, this tale of ambition, deceit and obsession builds to symphonic proportions. Throughout, Hoye skillfully modulates his narration to distinctly render each character'corrupt cops, city officials, pimps, GIs, Mexican bar owners, prostitutes, society matrons and even the sound of a bullet piercing canvas. Hoye especially shines during heated police interrogations, able to shift his voice on a dime. The audio includes a new afterword from Ellroy, which might have delivered more punch had Ellroy read it himself. But in terms of this gritty, sprawling novel, Hoye was unquestionably the right man for the job.
Copyright ' Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserve
reviewed The Black Dahlia on + 139 more book reviews
A fictionalized version of the 1947 Black Dahlia case in Los Angeles.
Some lingo of that era.
reviewed The Black Dahlia on
This is an autographed copy!